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Slow cooked mince bolognese

Serves  4
Prep time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 5 - 6 hours

Bolognese is an all time classic in both Italian cuisine and the Kiwi home cook’s repertoire.

This freezer-friendly bolognese recipe takes next to no time to prepare. Just throw everything into a freezer bag, freeze, then defrost before cooking. This recipe calls for your slow cooker, but if you prefer not to use it, you can throw the bolognese ingredients into a pan and simmer for 20 minutes while your pasta cooks instead. Mince is a fantastic option if you’re on a budget, because it’s super flexible and can easily be padded out with lentils.



  • 400g beef mince
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 5 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 400g tin tomatoes
  • 1 jar pasta sauce
  • 2 carrots, grated


Sides Ingredients 

  • 400g spaghetti
View the method

1. In a snaplock bag, add all ingredients and freeze.

2. Remove from the freezer the night before so it defrosts overnight.

3. Place the ingredients in a slow cooker and cook for 5 - 6 hours on low setting.

4. If there is quite a bit of liquid, thicken with 2 Tbsp flour mixed with a small amount of water and stir through, cook on high for 10-15 mins to thicken up. Add more flour/water mix if needed.

5. Season your bolognese and serve with spaghetti.



1. Bring a large pot of cold water to the boil. Once the water has boiled, add a generous amount of salt (around a tablespoon - don’t worry, most of it will drain off) for seasoning.

2. Add 400g of dried spaghetti (or pasta of your choice) to the boiling water. Use about 800 ml of water per 400 grams of spaghetti so it doesn’t stick together.

3. Stir the pasta and bring the water back to the boil.

4. Cook the spaghetti on a rapid boil for 8 - 12 minutes.

5. To check if your pasta is cooked, take a single piece and bite it. It should be tender but still have a ‘bite’ to it (“al dente”).

6. Once cooked, remove the pan and add some cool water to stop the cooking process.

7. Drain the pasta into a large colander or sieve and serve immediately. Do not rinse the pasta.

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